Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Constructing and contesting the public and private lives of military families
by Richard, Elizabeth M., Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2008, 216; 3305128
Abstract (Summary)

This project employs rhetorical case studies of four military policies and programs, ethnographic interviews of 12 Army wives, and the author's personal narratives of her experiences as a military wife to explore the implications of the construction of 'uniform' organizational identities for military personnel and military families. Theories of organizational identity, public sphere theory, and work-family balance provide the basis for an interrogation of the material and theoretical consequences of the perpetuation of narratives that rigidly define and enforce organizational identities and relationships. The analysis concludes that while 'uniform' organizational identity construction can serve as a strong unifying influence, there are also significant negative consequences for the organization, its personnel, and the families of its personnel. Conclusions include a call for the continued use of mixed methods to generate research that reflects the complexity and incongruity of lived experience, and the claim that more strength can be gained from a diversity of identity than from the appearance of a 'uniform' identity among organizational members.

Indexing (document details)
School: Arizona State University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 69/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Families & family life, Personal relationships, Sociology, Armed forces
Keywords: Ethnography, Family, Military culture, Military families, Narrative, Organizational identity, Organizational rhetoric, Private lives
Publication Number: 3305128
ISBN: 978-0-549-51298-1
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